Music enthusiasts attending the Central Ohio Symphony’s holiday concerts this Sunday will get to hear the premiere of a piece by a young composer from Delaware County.
In addition to its performance with Celtic band Lone Raven, the Symphony will play “Welcome Sun,” an original composition by Hayes High School student Noah Goulet, son of Russ and Nancy Goulet. It marks the first time that one of Goulet’s pieces — he’s written 30 so far — will be played by a professional orchestra.
“For a while, it didn’t really sink in that I’m having this performed. It was just an abstract thought somewhere in the distance, but now that we’re getting close, I’m actually realizing that it’s happening,” said Goulet, a junior at Hayes. “It’s exciting just to have their input into the artistic process. It’s a very big deal and a very great honor to have professional musicians do that for me.”
Two shows will be presented at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday in Gray Chapel at Ohio Wesleyan University.
The idea for “Welcome Sun,” Goulet said, was inspired by the winter solstice, which is Dec. 21.
“When you get to the winter solstice, it’s the darkest day of the year. You have the longest night and the shortest day,” he said. “So starting from that point, everything is very dark and after that point, everything gets brighter. I tried to reflect that musically with the beginning of the piece, the instrumentation is very thin, very dark. Then it gets fuller and brighter as the piece goes on.”
For the past three years, Goulet has studied music composition with Ohio Wesleyan University music professor Jennifer Jolley. The professor is equally excited about the debut of her student’s piece this weekend.
“I think it’s thrilling,” she said with a gleam in her eyes. “I have kind of a nervous excitement. … To actually think of something as big as an orchestra piece when you’re dealing with 60 or 70 people on stage and you tell them exactly what they need to be doing. I think it’s a wonderful experience for Noah. I’m really proud of him. I’m curious to hear what this sounds like in real life.”
To this point, Goulet and Jolley have only heard ”Welcome Sun” played by a computer program.
Goulet’s musical career began when he was in seventh grade and he picked up the clarinet. However, he knew he wanted to do more than just play an instrument.
“I got into composition really just by listening to good music, and I decided that I wanted to be able to do it, too,” said Goulet. He’s a member of the symphonic band and marching band at Hayes and also played in the jazz band last school year.
Goulet said despite getting a relatively late start on his musical journey, he’s developed quickly.
“I never actually really felt like I had much catching up to do,” he said. “It didn’t seem like work because I was enjoying it so much.”
Jolley said it’s a joy to work with Goulet.
“What I like about working with Noah is that he’s serious and even though he’s come into music late, he’s passionate about it. He listens to a lot of music and especially with the actual musical score in front of him,” she said. “And he listens to what I have to say about his pieces. Sometimes when he brings in a piece, I really don’t have to say much because he’s aware of the questions I’m going to ask. If I have something critical to say, Noah actually listens to what I say and thinks about it.”
Tickets for the concerts are available at the Symphony Source office, 24 E. Winter Street, Delaware. Prices are $25, adults; $20, seniors; $6, students of any age; and $4, children, age 6 and under. Tickets may also be ordered online at www.centralohiosymphony.org or by calling the Symphony at 740-362-1799.
The holiday concerts are underwritten by grants from the Ohio Arts Council, City of Delaware and supported by Ohio Wesleyan University.
Contact Andrew Carter at 740-413-0900. Follow him on Twitter @DelOhioEditor.